This is topic smashwords in forum Open Discussions About Writing at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Wannabe (Member # 9510) on :
Smashwords has not been replying to my e-mails. They are kind of screwing me right now because they sent a book to Kobo, and Kobo has uploaded it for sale, which I'd unpublished. And, according to my channel manager on smashwords, it is not supposed to be sent. The reason why it's a problem is because that ms was opted into Kindle Select.

Smashwords is a great service and I'm sure they are extraordinarily busy. I'm happy to give them the benefit of the doubt. But I feel like I've been given the cold shoulder and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what I should do?

Also is there a similar service like smashwords that isn't smashwords? Can I publish directly to itunes (like I do with Kindle) and just cut smashwords out of the picture altogether?
Posted by YNRedef (Member # 9390) on :
Wow. Honestly, I don't know anything about smashwords, but I wish you best of luck!
Posted by pdblake (Member # 9218) on :
Smashwords are famous for not replying to emails. They tend to be pretty snowed under and I'm not convinced that dashboard message thing of theirs actually does anything.

Try mc or keri _at_smashwords for direct contact.
Posted by Wannabe (Member # 9510) on :
Thanks YNR for the sympathy and thank you pdblake for the info.
Posted by Crank (Member # 7354) on :
Back in 'the day,' Mark Coker used to respond to my emails directly (or, somebody was using his name...!), sometimes within hours. When the number of submission requests started growing (seemingly at an exponential rate), the replies became a bit more spread out over time, and not always under Mark's name. I've had no reason to email them lately, but, if their workload rate has continued multiplying (and I suspect it has been), then the delays in response times will increase at the same exponential rate. That's an unfortunate truth, until they hire more people.

I'd like to see them add a 'topic' or 'reason for email'-esque pick list added to the email function. In theory, this would tell the Smashwords gang in a quick glance which department or person should address it. Although, having been on both sides of that functionality, I know how some people seen to neglect and/or misunderstand and/or outright ignore it.

Wannabe: let us know when and how your issue is resolved. As one of several Smashwords user in the Hatrack community, what happens in your case might someday affect us.

Posted by JoBird (Member # 9883) on :
I'm Johnny-come-lately to the idea of Smashwords. I only recently learned about it -- from this forum as a matter of fact.

Do you guys find it works well? Do any of you make money off of it? How many copies of your books/novellas do you typically sell?

I apologize if there's already a post about this, if so I just haven't noticed it yet.
Posted by rabirch (Member # 9832) on :
I have $3.91 in my account waiting for it to some day reach $10, at which point I'll get paid. So I'm not making the big bucks, but the stories I have there are either ones that have sold and the rights have reverted, or that I feel good about and have not been able to find a home for, so having them available on Smashwords is more productive than having them sitting on my hard drive.
Posted by Rhaythe (Member # 7857) on :
It works well for what it does - which is add your book(s) to the plethora of other self-pubbed books out there. They offer nothing in terms of advertisement or promotions, but they do let you make coupons so you can give out pieces for free. It's one of the few self-pubber services that allow you to give stuff away.

As with any self-pub service, your sales will typically reflect your ability to self-promote.

As for them not responding - yeah, I would agree, they get snowed under by the number of entries they receive. It usually takes them a good 4 weeks or more just to check to see if your MS fits their "Premium" catalogue (which, you gotta figure, is just a checklist browse).

Good rule of thumb - don't throw anything out on Smashwords that you don't want propegated everywhere.

Besides, I believe 'canceling' the publication on SmashWords still violates the Kindle Select program, since it's still "available" elsewhere (even if it's not currently active).
Posted by Wannabe (Member # 9510) on :
Using the e-mail addresses suggested above I got replies swiftly and they got on top of my issue. However they did gripe at me to "in the future" use their comment feature to get ahold of them. (Which I had already done twice to no effect.)

To their credit they did get on top of my problem once I brought it to their attention. But getting their attention seems to be something of a small battle. If you use the comment feature and get no response or acknowledgement, I'd suggest sending your issue to the e-mail addresses posted above. If that bothers them then they will have to be better at responding to the comments-questions feature.
Posted by Wannabe (Member # 9510) on :
Rhaythe, no it doesn't violate the Kindle Select terms of service. If you read the documentation is does mean you give Kindle exclusivity but there is no language in the agreement about giving Kindle first publication rights. So long as it isn't available elsewhere during the time it's in Kindle Select there is no violation. Even if it was previously available elsewhere.
Posted by Rhaythe (Member # 7857) on :
I stand corrected.
Posted by Wannabe (Member # 9510) on :
Yeah my original instinct was the same as yours which was why I read through the whole thing just to be safe before opting into the Select program.

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